Long-armed now, hard-boned
and wingless, I'm
a woman grown. Now,
not never, I live
above ground. I don't have any children.
There's a man in this bed I might love
if he could believe
where I've been,
in the hot island of my skin
torn by wet and dirty arrows—
if he could know why I'm done
with the twill of being a girl,
with my hands drifting down
to dust the fine sleeves of boys
who want flight
from me and the fierce light
my stories gave them, want back
their first black wings.
Rope coils into my wrists and I'm
in the ship again, pressed
to the sweat of blurry pirates, the heat
of their fictional whispers
draining down my hair.
For what I've wanted
Tink wants me dead: her thin
light glares into my soft ribs.
Her glass wings hum for my blood.
My brothers twist on the bench
opposite, gagged and retching.
Peter's missing. Our mother is another country
and we've burned the map.
The boys lift their bound
arms to me. They are mine.
Peter once said I made that world. I lie
with it: guilt simmers my dreams,
seeps out in pain along my arms
when I wake forgetting
I'm home, forgetting why rain
is coming down outside
but my body's by a man's, and bone dry.
Sometimes I look across the sheet
at his sweet flesh and can't stay.
Some days my skin hurts
against anything in this world.
I think now I was meant to be the clock
in the crocodile, to claim warm minutes
in the story's gut,
in the boneless dark
alone, and later,
with Hook beside me—
a kind of matrimony. We'd
lie together. In that center
I'd stop pretending the world
wasn't a mess of salt and hunger
winding down. Our words
would taste metallic, breaking
in the acids of desire. We'd be like
my heart, dirty and wild, counting
inside a body turning away from story,
dipping under the sea.